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Loading 40 S&W for Production Power Factor


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#1 MustangGreg66

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:58 PM

I'm going to be shooting .40 S&W in production class out of a Glock 35 and need some input on proper power factor. I know I can go as low as 125, but I'm thinking of weighing the ideas of recoil and slide speed. I'm loading 180gr Berry's plated bullets under Hogdon Clays. I ordered clays instead of universal clays by accident when thinking of a load for my .45, but found I can still use it for minor loads in 40.

I tried 3.0 - 3.5 grains and had settled on 3.4 grains because it actually locked the slide open on the last round, where anything lighter didn't, but then I finally chronographed and I think it came out to something like a 140 power factor. I still thought the loads were really light (compared to factory loads). I've since downloaded to 3.3 grains, which very nicely kicks the shells out just two feet to the right in a nice neat little pile and I think read something like a 135 power factor.

The question is, should I try to get closer to the lower limit of the class's power factor? Try lighter bullets, diffrent powder or just a lighter charge yet. Should I stay with a higher power factor that runs the slide faster? How important is the load actually locking back the slide on empty? I try to run the course so that I'm reloading before running dry and counting my shots, but sometimes when the brass really gets flying I've lost count and run dry when I shot single stack with my 1911.

What do you guys think?
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#2 Jman

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 08:16 PM

180gr bullets are great in minor 40 loads. Clays has a solid following in minor as well. Search this sub forum for a TON of additional info. 3.4 grains seems to pop up as a good choice for function and accuracy. Read up on OAL.


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#3 Harmon

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 09:16 PM

might want to try a reduced power recoil spring

15 pounds seems right for my guns.


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#4 Aircooled6racer

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:10 AM

Hello: Try a 13 pound ISMI recoil spring and 3.1 grains of Clays at 1.140 OAL. It will put a smile on your face ;-) Thanks, Eric

#5 Cy Soto

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:40 AM

I ordered clays instead of universal clays by accident when thinking of a load for my .45, but found I can still use it for minor loads in 40.


Sorry for the drift here but: What is the difference between Clays and Universal Clays?
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#6 scribble

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:43 AM

Clays is allot faster than universal.
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#7 MustangGreg66

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 10:24 AM

Sorry for the drift here but: What is the difference between Clays and Universal Clays?


Yea, thats the mistake I made, I read Universal Clays somewhere, went to order it and just said Clays... Aparently there are three versions of powder that Hodgdon makes with Clays in the label, "Clays", "Universal Clays", and I think the third is "International Clays" Anyway, DO NOT replace one for another in the load manual, they are way diffrent as can be seen on any chart that rates burn rate. Clays is very fast and Hodgdon recomends only 3.0-3.5 grains of the stuff in .40 S&W while it at the same time recomends up to 5.8 grains of Universal.... It'd make a big kaboom if you mixed the two up. I'm so glad that I looked really closely before I loaded.

My question now is what's the standard factory weight of the recoil spring on a G35? I can definitly see how reducing it with these light loads would help reliability and maybe even get my slide to lock open on the last round... although I think that also has something to do with my thumb resting on the slide release :D
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#8 Jman

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 10:42 AM

17 lbs is standard on the G35.


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#9 00bullitt

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 10:47 AM

Hello: Try a 13 pound ISMI recoil spring and 3.1 grains of Clays at 1.140 OAL. It will put a smile on your face ;-) Thanks, Eric


Yep my minor load exactly..........almost
I also use the same 13# ISMI spring in both my 34 and 35.
I have shortened my minor load up to 1.125". It created just a tad more snap without having to add powder and incresed pf from 135 to 137. But don't let those numbers fool you. The gun is still much softer than a 128 pf 9mm. Any less than 3.1 grains with a 13# spring and the gun starts having short cycle and feed issues. I shoot the 34 in production though. I just fooled around with minor .40 in a 35 for a buddy just getting into the sport. For a beginner.....I think .40 minor is better than 9mm in feel. The slide is slow enough for a beginner to track better than a snappy 9mm loaded with 124's.

Speed is Fine,Accuracy is final....but accurate hits at extremely high speed is final much faster.


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#10 MustangGreg66

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 11:33 AM

17 lbs is standard on the G35.

Jim M


Ok, thats a pretty decent diffrence going from a 17 to a 15 or 13lb spring. I might just have to try that lighter spring to get the proper function from the gun.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast :)

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